Cogut Institute for the Humanities

Doctoral Certificate in Collaborative Humanities

Promoting forms of cross-disciplinary work and community oriented toward the most challenging questions facing humanities research today.

Collaboration is built through research practices dedicated to thinking together across disciplines and geographical locations. The program advances forms of inquiry through teaching models and student practices that experiment with group presentations, collaborative online discussions, co-authored seminar papers, and other forms of intellectual partnership. The doctoral certificate is part of the Institute's Collaborative Humanities Initiative and is directed by Amanda Anderson.


  • An expanded sense of intellectual community for doctoral students in the humanities and the humanistic social sciences.
  • An intensive form of interdisciplinary training, with emphasis on collaborative research, critical reflection on humanistic methods, and the development of collaborative skills.
  • A valuable and distinctive credential for graduate students to advance their professional careers.


doctoral students

enrolled in one or more collaborative humanities seminars in 2020–21


student home departments

were represented in 2021–22.


certificate recipients

to date since the origin of the program


collaboratively taught seminars

between 2017 and 2023


Brown University faculty members

between 2017 and 2023


faculty home departments and programs


The Doctoral Certificate in Collaborative Humanities entails the completion of four courses and participation in the Collaborative Public Workshop, an event that concludes the program's capstone seminar each spring. HMAN 2400-level seminars are open to all students at the same time as they fulfill a requirement of the certificate. 

Three HMAN 2400-level seminars must be completed for credit. These seminars are organized around a key interdisciplinary topic, with an emphasis on theoretical and methodological questions. Collaborations are built into the course requirements and may include group presentations, collaborative online discussions, co-authored seminar papers as well as other forms of intellectual partnership.

Courses in the HMAN 2400 series are open to all students at the same time as they fulfill a requirement of the certificate. The completion of two seminars in the HMAN 24*** series is a prerequisite to apply for enrollment in the certificate and the capstone Project Development Workshop.

Taught in the spring semesters, the Project Development Workshop follows the completion of at least two seminars in the HMAN 24*** series and admission to the certificate program.

Projects in development for this workshop can be individual or collaborative and might include a dissertation chapter, an article on method/theory, or a stand-alone essay related to the larger field. All those enrolling will submit a proposed project and formal application to the certificate program before the start of the semester.

In addition to workshop sessions on projects, students perform a number of collateral academic roles: for example, they might nominate and introduce a key text considering larger questions of disciplinary and interdisciplinary method that was formative for their scholarly development; they might serve as first questioners for papers workshopped by others; and they might interview one of their peers and prepared an introduction to their work.

The semester concludes with the annual Collaborative Public Workshop in which students offer public presentations of their project and enter in conversation with Brown University faculty and scholarly guest respondents.

By providing training and preparation for roles that are crucial to the practice and fabric of academic life, yet are seldom the object of formal study and reflection, the Project Development Workshop reimagines the conditions and extends the limits of an interdisciplinary and collaborative research space.

Admission to the Certificate

We welcome indications of intent to pursue the certificate at any time. Formal application to the program normally takes place either in the fall, at the moment that a student prepares to enter the spring semester Project Development Workshop (HMAN 2500) after completion of at least two HMAN 24*** courses, or in the spring, in conjunction with applications for the Cogut Collaborative Humanities Fellowship.